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First black woman sworn into Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson has become the first black woman in American history to be sworn in as a judge on the US Supreme Court. Jackson took her oath of office on Thursday at the country’s Supreme Court. The 51-year-old succeeds longtime Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who officially retired on Thursday.

The 83-year-old Breyer had already announced at the beginning of the year that he would retire this summer after almost three decades at the court. For the first time in his term of office, US President Joe Biden was given the opportunity to fill one of the nine judge positions on the Supreme Court. Judges there are appointed for life and have to be confirmed by the Senate in a complex procedure. Jackson cleared that hurdle in early April. The confirmation process in the Congress Chamber was anything but easy for the graduate of the elite Harvard University, who most recently worked as a judge on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington. Republicans used the Senate hearings as a campaign platform, accusing the mother-of-two, who is married to a surgeon, as a judge of under-sentencing child pornography offenders – an accusation quickly refuted by independent fact-checkers.






















Jackson herself had highlighted her role as a role model before the Senate in the spring. “Since I was nominated for this post, I’ve had so many messages and letters and photos from young girls from all over the country telling me how excited they are about this opportunity,” Jackson had said, wanting blacks through her own career Encouraging girls to make it to the top of the justice system. So far, the Supreme Court has been anything but exemplary: in its 233-year history, 108 of the 115 judges were white men. Two black men have made it to the powerful court so far.

The change in personnel will not change anything about the conservative majority on the US Supreme Court. Breyer and Jackson both belong to the liberal camp. Biden’s Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, was able to place three judges on the Supreme Court during his tenure, thereby moving the court to the right in the long term. Six of the nine judges are currently considered conservative.

The new conservative power was particularly evident last week when the court overturned a landmark 1973 ruling that had secured abortion rights in the United States for nearly 50 years.

From now on, Jackson will form the left-liberal camp on the Supreme Court alongside constitutional judges Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. She will have to get used to being powerless to watch the conservative camp make decisions when it comes to important verdicts. You are then left with the thankless task of writing a dissenting opinion.

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